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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
"young" Gandalf

dijomaja
Lorien

Apr 26 2013, 12:02pm

Post #1 of 21 (1521 views)
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"young" Gandalf Can't Post

The filmmakers seem to have decided to give Gandalf a "journey" like the one given to movie-Aragorn in LOTR. You wouldn't think 60 years would make that much difference in an immortal being but, hey, this is the movies. Also, I suppose, it was fun for Sir Ian.

In AUJ, Gandalf is much less sure of himself. He defers to Saruman, of course, but he's also a bit more tentative around Galadriel and Elrond than he will be "later" in LOTR.

Obviously, the time wouldn't matter to an immortal but, perhaps, the writers and actor decided that this adventure would be transformative for Gandalf as well as Bilbo.


Fàfnir
Rohan


Apr 26 2013, 12:55pm

Post #2 of 21 (592 views)
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Gandalf does have journey in the books, from grey to white ! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Salmacis81
Grey Havens


Apr 26 2013, 2:01pm

Post #3 of 21 (648 views)
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Gandalf's "journey" [In reply to] Can't Post

It certainly looks as if the ageless being known as Gandalf has been given a sort of "coming-of-age" plotline, although I'm not sure that was the intent. The filmmakers have condensed 2000 years of Middle-earth history into a period spanning maybe a few months, and as a result everything regarding the Necromancer and the White Council has been portrayed as happening MUCH quicker than was supposed to have been. So I guess this sort of gives urgency to Gandalf's plotline and makes it look more like one of those "up against all odds" type of movie cliches. I always assumed that they condensed everything mostly because they didn't want to have to explain the backstory with flashbacks that spanned most of the 3rd Age, but I guess it also could have been to give Gandalf his story-arc. One thing's for sure though, AUJ Gandalf the Grey seems weaker than LOTR Gandalf the Grey, and MUCH weaker than book Gandalf the Grey.


Darkstone
Immortal


Apr 26 2013, 4:34pm

Post #4 of 21 (501 views)
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Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post

There is a journey by Gandalf from gently nudging observer at the beginning of The Hobbit to all-out participant by the end of LOTR. The key moment is indeed in The Hobbit, with him quite literally taking up arms in the battle for Middle-earth. That moment is when he acquires Glamdring, which mirrors Bilbo finding Sting (which is then handed down to Frodo, then to Sam), M&P finding the barrow blades, and of course Aragorn receiving the reforged Narsil as Andúril.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea


Apr 26 2013, 4:36pm

Post #5 of 21 (522 views)
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Yeah, they do seem to be playing up his "doubt" in AUJ, [In reply to] Can't Post

but i'm choosing to look at it as he's just trying to figure out this mystery, and is unsure where to go next, rather than any sort of inner turmoil or self doubt or crisis. Remember, he's suspecting the return of a great evil, and he doesn't have many to turn to, or that many resources available to him. So i just take it that he's finding himself in a growing situation, that's seeming more and more sinister, and is just scrambling to figure out what it all means.


Darkstone
Immortal


Apr 26 2013, 5:03pm

Post #6 of 21 (488 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

I just attribute the doubt to the influence of his mortal form:

"For with the consent of Eru they (the Valar) sent members of their own high order, but clad in the bodies of men, real and not feigned, but subject to the fears and pains and weariness of the Earth, able to hunger, and thirst and be slain; though because of their noble spirits they did not die, and aged only by the cares and labours of many long years."
- The Istari, Unfinished Tales

That is, "working as intended".

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



Smeagol Bagginsess
Rivendell


Apr 26 2013, 5:55pm

Post #7 of 21 (545 views)
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Did anybody find Gandalf older in AUJ than in FOTR? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
One thing's for sure though, AUJ Gandalf the Grey seems weaker than LOTR Gandalf the Grey, and MUCH weaker than book Gandalf the Grey.


I'm not sure if you were saying that Gandalf "looks" weaker or his power is weaker, but I found SIM a tad bit tired and older than in FOTR, especially in the "good morning" scene. SIM's performance was as grandeloquent as ever but I am more surprised that they could have atleast hidden the age factor digitally which they didn't.
Take a look at these two:

From AUJ: http://jeffreyklyles.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/ian-mckellen-as-gandalf-the-grey-in-the-hobbit.jpg?w=500&h=333

From FOTR: http://www.mckellen.com/images/t/9991.jpg


Pretty cool for a wizard, growing backwards is he?

Sly


Arandiel
Grey Havens

Apr 26 2013, 6:47pm

Post #8 of 21 (435 views)
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Indeed, and [In reply to] Can't Post

My memory may be a bit hazy, but I'm nearly positive that Saruman's treachery didn't become known to the rest of the White Council until Gandalf's escape from Orthanc in FOTR. Not knowing of Saruman's real motives would bear on Gandalf's behavior at the time of TH; surely he would have wanted to tread carefully when reaching conclusions that differed from those of his superior's.


Walk to Rivendell: There and Back Again Challenge - traveling through Middle Earth with thirteen rowdy Dwarves, one grumpy Wizard, and a beleaguered Hobbit

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There&ThereAgain
Rohan


Apr 26 2013, 7:04pm

Post #9 of 21 (487 views)
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Curious to see younger Gandalf in the EE [In reply to] Can't Post

What will Gandalf the Grey look like during the flashback of Bilbo as a young boy?!

"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair; and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater."-J.R.R. Tolkien

"Thanks for the money!" -George Lucas


There&ThereAgain
Rohan


Apr 26 2013, 7:06pm

Post #10 of 21 (510 views)
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but that de-aging stuff looks weird [In reply to] Can't Post

I mean it was fine for Ian Holm and Saruman as they don't have too many scenes, but I think it would have been cost prohibitive to de-age Sir Ian McKellen throughout all three films.

"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair; and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater."-J.R.R. Tolkien

"Thanks for the money!" -George Lucas


Darkstone
Immortal


Apr 26 2013, 7:26pm

Post #11 of 21 (411 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

Saruman was pretty much already upset with Gandalf and Radagast even before they left Valinor. That became even worse when Saruman found out Cirdan had slipped Gandalf Narya and when Gandalf turned down leadership of the White Council when Galadriel made the offer. Of course after the treachery of Isengard everyone from Galadriel to Treebeard says they were really suspicious all along, but people just are like that. Hindsight is twenty-twenty after all and even the wisest don't like to admit they were fooled.

All-in-all I think Jackson & Co. are playing it right, with Saurman being a bit pompous and condescending towards Gandalf and Galadriel, and outright contemptuous of Radagast. Just enough of a jerk so a Hobbit-firster can be surprised at his treachery in FOTR, yet also go "I shoulda known!"

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea


Apr 26 2013, 7:34pm

Post #12 of 21 (449 views)
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I would notice Sir Ian's age difference in the Good Morning scene [In reply to] Can't Post

the first couple of times i saw AUJ, and would forget about it soon after. Now, on about my 8th viewing, i don't even notice it at the beginning anymore. I guess the true test will be when we have all the Blu-rays at home and have that first marathon, how well Gandalf's appearance segues from TaBA into FotR. I'm guessing it will be slightly noticeable, but fine.


IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Apr 26 2013, 7:54pm

Post #13 of 21 (421 views)
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Physicality [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf seems much more active to me in AUJ than FOTR or TT. It isn't until ROTK that he becomes a pretty formidable warrior. In AUJ he is quite the fighter in Goblintown -- much more like Gandalf the White in ROTK.


Salmacis81
Grey Havens


Apr 26 2013, 9:15pm

Post #14 of 21 (375 views)
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Definitely [In reply to] Can't Post

I did notice that McKellan looked a bit older the first time I saw AUJ, but don't really notice it when I watch anymore. I'm kind of happy that they didn't digitize Gandalf too much, considering what digital de-aging did to the appearance of the other Sir Ian. Holm to me looks NOTHING like he looked in LOTR. I'm guessing that they did something similar to Christopher Lee, but I didn't really notice as much with him.

As for McKellan appearing tired, I saw that maybe just a bit, but for the most part I thought McKellan seemed sharp. This is in contrast to both Holm and Lee, who both seemed downright lethargic. Then again, Holm's got almost 10 years on McKellan, and Lee's got almost 20.


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Apr 26 2013, 9:54pm

Post #15 of 21 (372 views)
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His speech about taking a life, he looks much older [In reply to] Can't Post

It doesn't bother me for two reasons:

1. Gandalf can change his appearance to look as old as he wants, who said wizards age the same way physically? (I think there is one reference in the book of Gandalf looking older over time. Would love if someone could track that down?)

2. The older Gandalf is actually much better! If anything McKellen was too young when he played Gandalf in LotR. He seems more like the Gandalf I remember from the books in The Hobbit. Old and frail but powerful and energetic.


Darkstone
Immortal


Apr 26 2013, 10:01pm

Post #16 of 21 (387 views)
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Here [In reply to] Can't Post

Then suddenly his visits had ceased. It was over nine years since Frodo had seen or heard of him, and he had begun to think that the wizard would never return and had given up all interest in hobbits. But that evening, as Sam was walking home and twilight was fading, there came the once familiar tap on the study window.
Frodo welcomed his old friend with surprise and great delight. They looked hard at one another.
'Ah well eh?' said Gandalf. 'You look the same as ever, Frodo!'
'So do you,' Frodo replied; but secretly he thought that Gandalf looked older and more careworn. He pressed him for news of himself and of the wide world, and soon they were deep in talk, and they stayed up far into the night.

-FOTR, Chapter 2, The Shadow of the Past

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



QuackingTroll
Valinor


Apr 26 2013, 10:15pm

Post #17 of 21 (338 views)
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Not the one I was thinking of, but thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know where the other is... or if it exists. I might be thinking of Gandalf's line in the films "Age may have changed me, but not so the lady of Lorien" or something?

The quote you've given, I think, refers more to Gandalf's weariness and fear, rather than his age. - People look older when they're weary. I'll check for the other example now, because it's annoying me Tongue


BalrogTrainer
Rivendell

Apr 26 2013, 11:53pm

Post #18 of 21 (317 views)
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Considering... [In reply to] Can't Post

... he's already playing an old man with a long, grey beard in both trilogies, the visual differences should be fairly neglibible. Tongue


sam90
Lorien

Apr 27 2013, 8:05pm

Post #19 of 21 (234 views)
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Gandalf aging [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe but Gandalf is played by a Human who in the last 12 years did aged and that can reflect in it's apperance, tone, gestures as he play his role. Which shouldn't be the case with the character Gandalf. But I think it could have been worst if the films were made in say 5 years. I wasn't bothered by that in AUJ. We shall see for DOS and the third part.

I was more concerned for the beautiful Cate Blanchett and so the Galadriel's scenes. I should say they did a great job there covering the 12 years. Technologies can help! She still looks as fair as in FOTR and the difference are slight and are not an issue IMO.


(This post was edited by sam90 on Apr 27 2013, 8:10pm)


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Apr 27 2013, 10:52pm

Post #20 of 21 (203 views)
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Galadriel, Elrond and Legolas are bigger worries, but seem to have worked. Gandalf, as the earlier poster suggested [In reply to] Can't Post

is already an old man and is already covered about much of his face with a heavy, gray beard. The beard will hide things like creases around the mouth and any sagging under the chin. The fact that he was already portrayed as an "old man" means that, short of closely inspecting to see if there a a few more lines etc., aging won't be as noticable on him unless he seems to have diminished in physical ability.

In Reply To
Maybe but Gandalf is played by a Human who in the last 12 years did aged and that can reflect in it's apperance, tone, gestures as he play his role. Which shouldn't be the case with the character Gandalf. But I think it could have been worst if the films were made in say 5 years. I wasn't bothered by that in AUJ. We shall see for DOS and the third part.

I was more concerned for the beautiful Cate Blanchett and so the Galadriel's scenes. I should say they did a great job there covering the 12 years. Technologies can help! She still looks as fair as in FOTR and the difference are slight and are not an issue IMO.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea


Apr 28 2013, 3:25am

Post #21 of 21 (187 views)
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Galadriel and Elrond looked great-- [In reply to] Can't Post

almost exactly the same as in LotR (especially Elrond). The cg de-aging worked wonders on them. Gandalf, excepting one early scene, looked much the same to me, too, though it didn't seem like they did as much cg stuff on him as he's just in the movie too much, making it cost prohibitive, and he's covered by a beard and wig and prosthetics and wearing giant hat anyway. Frodo and Old Bilbo, on the other hand, didn't work out so well, especially considering it was supposed to be the same exact day as in Fellowship, but it works fine enough for me for what it is. With Legolas, we'll just have to wait and see.

Overall, i'm surprised it all worked out so well. The age factor was one of my bigger worries going into these films, especially with Gandalf. And even though i think the quality of his voice is different, he looks as good as he did in LotR (and even looks better than he did in RotK as the White, imo). I'm quite happy with how all the returning actors look in the The Hobbit.

 
 

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